National U-Sta. Elena continued to pick up steam, making quick work of Kinto Tyres-Perpetual, 25-21, 25-15, 25-21, for its second-straight win in the Spikers’ Turf Invitational Conference semifinals, Saturday at the Philsports Arena.
The Nationals, who lost their opening game against Cignal, took down Saints and Lattes-Letran yesterday in four sets before sweeping the Altas to make it back-to-back wins and hold the second spot momentarily with a 2-1 standing.
“Siguro ano, yung naging timing namin ngayon sa laro medyo umaakyat na rin yung ginagawa namin. Although nandiyan pa rin yung mga unforced errors na hindi namin matanggal tanggal, yung sa timing namin sa opensa saka floor defense,” said NU head coach Dante Alinsunurin.
Perpetual threatened to take the third set after Jefferson Marapoc put the Altas ahead with an off-the-block hit, 21-20, but Rwenzmel Taguibolos and Leo Ordiales joined hands in a blistering 5-0 finishing kick to end the game after an hour and 18 minutes.
“Ano naman yun (si Leo Ordiales), nandiyan naman talaga ‘yan. Hindi lang nabibigyan ng time kasi nga talagang bata pa, pero nung nangailangan kami, buti nag-deliver talaga siya,” added Alinsunurin.
Nico Almendras top scored for the Nationals with 14 points on 11 attacks, two aces, and one block to go along with 12 excellent receptions while Ordiales continued to step up with 12 points on 11 attacks and one block.
Jade Disquitado and Taguibolos, who combined for five kill blocks in the victory, scored 10 points apiece while Obed Mukaba had nine markers.
On the other hand, Jefferson Marapoc led the way for the 0-2 Perpetual with eight points while Louie Ramirez was held to just seven markers to go along with 10 excellent receptions and four excellent digs.
NU looks to make it three wins in a row on Monday, 5:30 p.m. against Japanese squad Maruichi Hyogo while Perpetual will face off against the unbeaten Cignal earlier that day at 3:30 p.m. at the same venue.